I'm not afraid to cut steeks. I've done it dozens of times, and have no intention of ever knitting stranded projects flat, ever again. But when it came time this morning, to cut into my Dakota Dreams sweater, I hesitated more than normally. Not just because of the whole *measure twice, cut once*, and the even more important, *steeks are forever* thing- but because of the sweater itself.
I designed this sweater to fit me, and I intended to wear it until I wore it out. It did not occur to me during the six months that I worked on it, that there would ever come a time when it did not fit. The sweater was sized generously enough that I would not have outgrown it, and losing weight was simply not on my agenda.
So this morning, when I got ready to resize the sweater for my resized body, I hesitated. Cutting into this sweater, this labor of love for myself and myself alone, signaled a confidence that I will not regain the weight, which, given my life-long inability to maintain a weight loss, is perhaps misplaced. I lost weight, and then gained it back, plus some, on a regular basis for the first 2/3 of my life. Then I stopped trying, and ate happily ever after.
Nothing about the life change we've undergone has anything to do with disliking my old self (the self-loathing I see in many large people just makes me sad). That said, even though weight loss was not the point of the change, it happened, and I don't want to do it again (and lord knows, I don't want to have to buy 3 coats in one season ever again). So the change has to be permanent- and redoing this sweater is an indication that I intend it to be so.
So I marked the cutting line with contrasting yarn (and relearned that I am a very imperfect knitter- here and there in the pattern motifs, I got off a stitch or three, which made tracing a straight line from top to bottom a little tricky), took a deep breath, and cut.
I ended up cutting 2-6 1/2" wide strips from the body of the sweater (which reduces the circumference by 13", which will be further reduced by another 2" with the new seam allowances- so 15" gone). And though this yarn (Rowan 4-ply) seems very reluctant to ravel, I still zigzagged along the cut edges (on the leftovers- with the sleeves still attached- as well).
I don't know what I'm going to do with the excess fabric, but I'll think of something after I cut the sleeves away. I'll be back with side seam pictures next.